Haunted house in Greece shut down
Updated: Wednesday, December 11 2013, 12:38 PM EST
Greece, N.Y. - Nicholas Vito never had children of his own but loves entertaining kids in his Greece neighborhood. Every Halloween for the past decade, he has built a haunted house on his modest property on Sparling Drive.
He draws about a thousand people over the three days it's open and it has gotten bigger each year.
This year he added a second huge tent, and now the display is about 1500 square feet, taking up most of his yard.
Then came the letter in the mail from the town of Greece. His haunted house was in violation of town code and fire safety laws.
He would need a permit and make other changes to have the haunted house this year.
Vito was disappointed that he wasn't told sooner and was surprised because he said he never needed a permit before.
Leo Carroll, Greece Town Assessor and Building Inspector, told us the town received complaints from neighbors concerned about the size of the display and the fact that there is only one way in and out. Carroll said it would be difficult for fire crews to get in there if something happened.
He also said because it attracts so many people, Vito would need a special events permit.
He said the town was willing to work with Vito to take the necessary steps to get the haunted house up to code. But Vito said he didn't have time to make the necessary changes so he is taking it down.
He will still have a small Halloween display and hand out pizza to kids.
Neighbors like Jim Bell are disappointed. Their kids look forward to this each year and were anxious to see what new things Vito added this year.
Bell said there aren't enough things like this that keep kids entertained and safe on Halloween. He said neighbors he knows have no complaints about this haunted house and he doesn't understand why it can't go on as planned.
Vito said it took him six weeks to build and this is the fourth day he has spent taking it down.
He's sad and hasn't decided whether to get the permit and hold the haunted house next year or do something else.
He said he doesn't blame the town and knows his event got "too big."
He just wishes he knew about this sooner, so he could've planned ahead.